Maga hat (illustration)
Maga hat (illustration) Reuters

A California woman verbally abused an Orthodox Jew wearing a Make America Great Again hat in a Palo Alto Starbucks, later posting his picture and abrasive comments about him on social media. Her posts and the political furor which ensued went viral. Mansey lost her job as an accountant as a result and reportedly received death threats, according to the Palo Alto Weekly.

Palo Alto resident Rebecca Parker Mankey, spotted the 74-year-old man in Starbucks and immediately began screaming at him, calling him a "hater of brown people" and "Nazi scum" and tried to recruit other Starbucks customers and employees to berate him as well. No one joined her but no one defended him from Mankey's vitriol either.

Mankey even trailed after the man to the parking lot when he left the store, continuing to scream, curse and criticize him, telling him that she was going to publicize his personal information so other people could shame him as well.

Mankey went home and posted pictures of the man on social media, asking her Facebook and Twitter followers to help find him. “I am going to publicly shame him in town and try to get him fired and kicked out of every club he is in,” she wrote on Twitter. "I am going to go to his house, march up and down carrying a sign that says he hates black people. I am going to organize protests where he works to make him feel as unsafe as he made every brown person he met today."

Mankey also wrote on her Facebook page that she had hoped the man would call the police on her so she could hear his name, his wife's name, his home address and where his children went to school.

According to the Weekly, Parker's social media posts were met with a storm of criticism. One woman even contacted the employer of Mankey's husband and the Palo Alto Police Department.

"I was extremely disturbed when I learned that an elderly man was being humiliated and harassed in public by a vicious bully," the woman, named Amy, wrote in an email to the Weekly. "I hope and pray that this incident leads to greater tolerance and respect among all Americans, instead of greater hatred and rage."

Mankey worked for Gryphon Stringed Instruments before she was fired in the wake of the incident. Her former employer received numerous critical phone calls and emails. Matt Lynch, Gryphon's retail manager, told the Weekly that people from all over the world posted negative Yelp reviews on his store, even those who had never stepped foot in Palo Alto or had any business transactions with him.

"It's been a tough day," he said. "What she said in no way reflects Gryphon or how the company feels." He told the Weekly that "100 percent" of the calls were critical of Mankey.

"Gryphon does not believe anyone should be harassed or subject to hate speech no matter their beliefs," a statement on Gryphon's Facebook said. "Music has historically been something that has brought people of diverse socio-political backgrounds together."

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